Wednesday, March 11, 2009

A Fortunate and Surprising Surge of Prospective Women Senators

I recently stumbled upon this "Politico" article by Josh Kraushaar called, "Female Candidates Line Up for 2010." Apparently the mixed gender in the 2008 election caused a spark in female confidence and support, which I think is great! The article explains that there are many female candidates, mostly Democrats, who are planning to run for Senate in 2010. This looks as if it may cause change in the chamber which currently only has 17 women senators. Karen O' Connor, the director of the Women and Politics Institute at American University, says that, "it really is a landmark year because there's a farm team have mayors, congresswomen, secretaries of state; they're waiting in the wings and they're not going to sit back any longer." Reading this excites me because it really shows that our class topic is relevant. The gender in this past election did cause a wave, not only of surprise, but also of support and identification for women.

The woman in the picture above is Carly Florina, former Hewlett-Packard CEO and McCain economic adviser. She is looking to run against Barbara Boxer for the Senate seat here in California. There is a slew of other women that are running in different states, and they list all of these determined women in the "Politico" article. O'Connor, whom I mentioned earlier, explains that female candidates have a better track record in elections when the economy is a main issue. This said, the United States should be looking to elect more females in the years to come. Jonathan Parker, EMILY'S List political director, tell us that "when kitchen-table issues are at the forefront, voters recognize it’s women in so many households across America that deal with these issues. That will resonate with a certain segment of voters." Although it is nice that this view will cause more women support, I don't think that it is the only factor affecting this increased support.

The 2008 election allowed us women to see how far we have come and after reading this article, I am sure that it inspired women to want to achieve greatness, not only in politics, but simply in general. Martha McKenna, who is a recruiter as political director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, said that, "it’s becoming more and more common for the strongest candidate to be a woman, and that’s a good thing for the party and the country.” I anticipate the 2010 elections; hopefully the Senate will be a tad more gender-balanced after that, and the demonstration of increased female support will cause a snowball effect of equality!

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